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Temiskaming plant ready to process silver

Canada Silver Cobalt Works finishes commissioning of its facility
Polymet Labs 2
(Polymet Labs supplied photo)

Canada Silver Cobalt Works announced that its Temiskaming Testing Labs (TTL) in the town of Cobalt is fully operational and ready for processing mineralized material into silver dore bars.

The B.C.-based company is billing the rebuilt mineral processing facility as a zero discharge plant. 

Upgrades have been made to the second crushing circuit within the 20,000-square-foot building. A new gravity plant was also installed.

Canada Silver Cobalt Works announced in the fall of 2019 that it was acquiring the facility, formerly known as Polymet Labs, eventually finalizing the deal early the next year. 

The company, which is also a junior miner, aims to use the plant to process material from its exploration properties in Gowganda and Quebec.

Canada Silver Cobalt Works is also an exploration company, working its advanced Castle East Project in the Gowganda area where it’s discovered a  high-grade silver vein system near the former Castle Mine. A 60,000-metre drill program has been completed to expand the size of the deposit, measured at 7.56 million ounces of silver in the inferred category. The company is planning to build a ramp to access the high-grade veins there.

The price of silver is currently sitting at US$19.60 an ounce, down from a yearly high in March of US$26.46 an ounce.

Canada Silver also has a series of exploration properties in northwestern Quebec with the potential for nickel, copper and cobalt, used in the electric vehicle  sector, as well as a gold property near Agnico Eagle’s Macassa Mine in Kirkland Lake.

“TTL is now ready to begin the processing of high-grade mineralized material and tailings from mining properties in the area, including tailings from the company’s past-producing Beaver Mine and Castle Mine,” said company CEO Frank Basa in a news release.

“This is another important step in building our capability as a fully integrated mining operation right through to the production of silver dore bars.”

The building was established by the Ontario government in 1941 as a public service facility offering laboratory services, high-grade ore processing and a bullion furnace to nearby mining operations. Companies such as Agnico Eagle and Teck frequented the facility in their early days of silver mining operations in the area to pour in excess of two million ounces silver annually in silver dore bars.  

This facility is the second mineral processing plant around the town of Cobalt in northeastern Ontario, a historic silver mining camp from the turn of the last century.

Just outside of the community, Toronto’s Electra Battery Materials is upgrading and expanding a former refinery into a proposed battery metals industrial park that would process cobalt, nickel and recycling used batteries to produce the ingredients needed to make material for the electric vehicle industry. Commissioning of the first-phase of the operation, a cobalt processing plant, is slated for next spring.